Coronavirus: Selladoor postpones productions until 2021 and extends venue closures

Selladoor Worldwide has announced the postponement of the majority of its productions until 2021 and extended the closure of its three venues until November.

The world tour of Footloose the Musical, which had been due to open at New Wimbledon Theatre in April, will now open at the earliest in Zurich Maag Music Hall in Switzerland in November 2020, with UK dates commencing from January 2021.

Bring It On the Musical, which was due to open in June at the Birmingham Hippodrome, has been suspended until Autumn 2021, while the UK tour of 9 to 5, which was due to open in May 2020 at the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, has been pushed back until Spring 2021.

Selladoor has also announced that its international tour of We Will Rock You, which had been set to open in South Africa in August, will now begin in the Philippines in February 2021, and Madagascar the Musical, which was set to open in New Zealand in August, has been delayed until Autumn 2021.

Selladoor has also extended the closure of its three venues; the Queen’s Theatre Barnstaple, the Landmark Ilfracombe and New Theatre Peterborough, until November, hoping to reopen pre-pantomime season.

The organisation has also confirmed it will continue the temporary closure of its offices through to August “to maximise government support during a period of extended inactivity”.

Chief executive David Hutchinson said: “It’s with a heavy heart that we’ve taken the decision to postpone the majority of our productions into 2021 both in the UK and internationally.

“It’s taken our production team, creatives and partners years to put these productions together and we were so excited to share them with audiences this year.

“However the uncertainty on when theatres will reopen, how and when we can develop audiences for our work and clarity on best practises for touring in a Covid world – we feel the odds are against us delivering shows in 2020.”

Hutchinson added: “With over 100 members of Selladoor staff to consider across our productions and venues operation, the priority at this uncertain time is to maximise our runway for relaunch and maintain as much resilience as we can to keep people within the business.

“At this juncture, pausing during the summer and maximising the support available is vital in sustaining a long period of inactivity. We are currently burning through our cash reserve at a very fast rate and it’s not sustainable for our organisation who are mainly reliant on box office.”

Naomi James, head of productions at Selladoor, added: “It has been a devastating decision to postpone productions further and lose almost all production activity for 2020, but given the lack of a clear roadmap to reopening theatres, it seems the most responsible way forward for our artists, creatives and patrons alike.

“Our worst case scenario quickly became our best case scenario and we hope that by moving everything into 2021, we give ourselves the best chance at being able to play our part in the rebuilding of our wonderful industry, when that time comes.”

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